Liz Johnson averaged 211.4 in the third round to grab the qualifying lead from Kelly Kulick in the women’s division of the Lipton’s Bowling U.S. Open Championship in Columbus, Ohio.
The Cheektowaga pro totaled 1,691 for her eight-game block Wednesday to build a 5,108 total, 70 pins better than second-place Kulick, who had led after each of the first two rounds.
Buffalo native Lindsay (Baker) Boomershine of Brigham City, Utah, was 12th with 4,808.
On the men’s side, Jason Belmonte, the two-handed stylist from Australia, continued to outclass the field. His total of 5,567 is 381 pins better than Hall of Famer Pete Weber, who is in second place. Belmonte averaged 231.96 for the 24 games of qualifying.
Ryan Ciminelli of Cheektowaga was 14th after he turned in a 1,754, his best day so far in the tournament, for a 5,061 total (210.88 average). John Szczerbinski of North Tonawanda was 36th with a total of 4,899. His 1,524 round Wednesday included a 123 game. Joe Ciccone of Buffalo shot 1,619 for a 4,893 total to make the cut in 41st place.
The fields were cut to 65 men and 28 women for six more games of qualifying this morning to determine the top 24 men and women for match play.